Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Buddy Sour Horse: Solutions?

Hello everyone! Hope you all are enjoying the lovely spring weather, I sure am!

I've got a question for you guys that I hope I can get some good advice from.

Last Saturday my mom had me come out and help her with Cisco (you can read more about him here Cisco). She is all fired up about the horses after our adventure at the horse fair last weekend and is wanting to get her horses going. We are tentatively planning on going to the trail ride they are having starting at the arena May 12th. I know Daisy will be great but I'm a little worried about Cisco.

Anyway, Cisco is basically a HUGE baby. He may be 12 years old but he is basically a 2 year old in training/mind. He was initially saddle broke by my teenage self 10 years ago and then a few years after that my mom sent him to a local trainer for a month. But other then that and a handful of rides around the property with his mama, he hasn't been messed with. And add into the factor his HUGENESS he can be kind of intimidating to my mom. (and me!) So on Saturday I started to give her some tools to help her work with him and get him being more respectful and a responsible member of the riding horse community! Now, don't get me wrong, he is a big sweet heart, he just doesn't have a whole lot of respect for personal space and if he wants to do something bad enough, he just does it. He really doesn't know much better. My mom is also a bit of a push over ;). Here is a picture so you can kind of get an idea how tall he is, my mom is around 5'7 and he dwarfs her! (this pic is from a few years ago)

So I brought my bitless bridle over and put the basics of lateral flexion on him for her, then let her try it. After that we saddled him up and I rode him first to get the basics down again but mounted. Which was a lot more difficult then it had been on the ground. Daisy far excelled him in learning this. (who knows though she may have done it all before in the 16 years before I had her!) So he plowed around the round pen with me for a while just bracing against the rein until finally he settled down and started listening. At one point he started spinning in a circle pretty fast trying to get away from the pressure. That wasn't too fun! Spoiled baby!

So after that I got off and my mom jumped up and did the same thing with him. We also worked on his woah. His go button is firmly installed (as it is in most gaited horses in my experience!) so we didn't need work on that. After we were done riding she told me she also has trouble with him going wherever he wants on the lead rope. So I did some work with him in the round pen with his halter on after we untacked him. It didn't take much to have him following meekly at my shoulder. I also got him backing up from me with a wiggle of the lead rope fairly easily. I'd love to do some more things like disengaging his hindquarters and such but I have no experience with this. I wish I knew someone who could come give me the basics of it without having to muddle through myself. I think the respect aspect of it would help him a lot.

Well by then I had to go check on Chloe who was sleeping in the house. After we came back out mom had him brushed down and wanted me to help her walk the horses up to the top pasture. I made a little paint map, its pretty high quality ;)

Lol, what can I say? Anyway mom started off with Dixie and I had Cisco. He was doing fine, walking a little fast but a slight tug and he'd slow down. Mom started having trouble with Dixie so said maybe you should walk her! So I took her and she definitely was power walking and I had to snap her lead quite a bit to get a response. Mom seemed to be doing ok and when we got over there I asked her if he had done better then usual and she said, maybe, lol. Hm, anyway we got them put in there and Cisco had a gay old time running his big lug of a self all over the pasture. Its funny to see a huge horse like that run around!

Fast forward to Monday. My mom said she was going to ride him Sunday after church. So I called yesterday to find out how it went. Well horrendous was probably the word. She had to take him from his mama at the top pasture back to the barn to ride and he did not like that. She said all he did was holler for her and be a total pain and basically do whatever he wanted to. Sigh. Spoiled brat! She said he kind of scared her, which was NOT what I wanted to hear, I wish I had been there to help her! I told her I would come over that afternoon to help her with him if she wanted but she had other things she had to do so we planned on this afternoon. I'll let you know how it goes!

Anybody have any tips on 'curing' the buddy sour horse? Thanks!

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